November 6, 2008 — Seven students and an administrator from the University of the Virgin Islands will be on hand in Washington D.C. in January to witness the historical inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States.
According to a news release from the school, the UVI students are members of the Golden Key Honour Society on the St. Croix campus. They will take part in the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference, a five-day program "providing the participants with a deeper understanding of the history behind the electoral process and the rich traditions surrounding the presidential inauguration."
The students are Melina Moore, Wayne Petersen, Diane DaCosta, Renako Wells, Nickaya Armantranding, Sharmane Simon and Leana Timothy.
I am excited about the opportunity to witness history in the making when our first black president takes his oath to office, said Petersen, vice president of the chapter. It is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Armantranding said she is very excited about the upcoming events. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to witness first-hand the inauguration of our 44th president, who happens to be African American, she said. Its so fortunate for us to be able to participate.
Accompanying them will be Miriam Osborne Elliott, St. Croix campus associate campus executive administrator. She will be a faculty advisor at the conference, facilitating group meetings, preparing students for each days activities and presenting educational content for the program.
The opportunity to serve as one of the selected faculty advisors to the Presidential Inaugural Conference for emerging student leaders is phenomenal, Osborne Elliott said. It is an opportunity to be part of history in a manner that is more than that of an observer. This selection affords me the professional and personal opportunity to play some part in the transformation of how the next generation sees and experiences the world that they will not only inherit, but also the world that they will lead.
The St. Croix participants will join with students from across the United States, getting the chance to meet White House officials, congressional staff members, political experts and other VIPs such as General Colin Powell and former Vice President Al Gore. After witnessing the inauguration, scholars will watch the inaugural parade, as President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and their families make their way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol Building to the White House. They will also attend a Black Tie Gala Inaugural Ball.
The students will also have a chance to explore historic sites and monuments in the nations capital and participate in roundtable discussions, debates and other activities that will help to expand their knowledge of democratic principles and the presidential election process.
The UVI students are currently raising funds to assist with the cost of airfare, winter clothing and hotel stays.
For more information or to make a donation call Miriam Osborne Elliott at 692-4188.
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